Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones: Tony Romo will play only if Dak Prescott is injured

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) will not play in Philadelphia unless Dak Prescott is injured, owner Jerry Jones said.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) will not play in Philadelphia unless Dak Prescott is injured, owner Jerry Jones said. Special to the Star-Telegram

Tony Romo didn’t play Monday, and he isn’t likely to play in Week 17 either. Jerry Jones said Dak Prescott will start against the Eagles, with Romo playing only if Prescott is injured.

Prescott, Jones said, needs reps more than Romo despite the fact that Romo hasn’t started a game in more than a year.

“We’re just not concerned about him having play time, but sure wouldn’t want him to get any time other than playing behind our first,” Jones said. “…Dak is gaining on it. That game out there tonight made Dak a better quarterback. He played very well. He really made some good decisions. You don’t want to mess up those reps.”

While Ezekiel Elliott took off his shoulder pads after the Cowboys gained a 42-21 edge early in the fourth quarter, Prescott stayed on the field despite random chants of, “We want Tony!” from the crowd of 92,885.

“For him to have played like he played against Detroit, I think he’s a better quarterback,” Jones said. “At this stage, he’s just gaining on it. So you make a big case for him to play against Philadelphia to be a better quarterback for the playoffs.”

Romo has not played since Thanksgiving 2015 when he fractured his left collarbone for the second time last season. He played only four games in 2015 and has been injured in three of the past five games he has played, including the preseason.

He was inactive the first nine games this season with a compression fracture in his back. Romo, 36, has served as Prescott’s backup since, though he has yet to take a snap.

“We’ve got the book on Tony,” Jones said. “We’re seeing him work at practice, and that’s enough. …We have a real good feel. We have a very good feel for how he could do.”

Jones said the risk of playing Romo is not worth any potential reward.

“Romo, not to play him, we don’t feel like that any gain we’d get from him stepping out there and running a few plays or a series of plays or several plays would be worth the risk,” Jones said.

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